Many airlines, airports and hotels are investing millions in social media. They understand social media is a very effective and cost efficient way to communicate with their customers. The ability to respond in real time to customers who are tweeting or commenting on Facebook is a huge opportunity.
Delta Airlines launched its Twitter profile last May. @deltaassit those who fly can find help before, during and after their trips. Delta has hired more than 20 full-time employees to update their social media and respond to questions 24 hours a day.
Returning home over the holidays on a Delta flight, I was able to get my gate and departure times before I entered the airport. Delta also allows travelers to find and book flights via Facebook.
Skyscanner introduced a new tool, facebook.com/skyscannerflightsearch. This lets users post flight questions about specific routes and dates and then replies with a link to the cheapest options.
Atlanta's busy airport as well as Heathrow in London use Twitter to inform travelers about discounts, celebrity sightings and weather information.
Many hotels such as Hilton and Starwood reward users of their loyalty programs with upgrades and special offers, as well as supplying concierge services.
Response time is probably the biggest advantage for airlines and businesses using social media. When traveling, people want fast answers to their questions or problems.
Many companies fear negative postings. But today, consumers can post all over the web. If they are posting in social media, as a company you have the ability to respond and resolve the problem quickly.
Social media is a tool that will continue to evolve especially in the travel industry. Before your next trip, connect with your travel partners on social media for a better travel experience.